Media Release: RGU Professor to present sustainable urban policy findings at World Energy Cities conference

PROFESSOR Richard Laing, from Robert Gordon University (RGU) is to represent Aberdeen next week (Monday, April 30th, 2012) as he heads to Houston, Texas for a two day conference – The World Energy Cities Partnership (WECP).

Says a spokesperson: “Here, attendees will share experiences, contacts, and lend support in tackling common industry and city issues involved with the reduction of CO² emissions, the continuation of the use of fossil fuel and diversification to renewable energy.

“WECP acts as a forum for energy cities to share academic findings which are particularly relevant to cities with a high concentration of firms active in the energy sector, specifically oil and gas.

“Professor Laing is due to present a paper on sustainable urban policy in a post-peak oil society, gleaning information from a three-year research project he has undertaken as part of the University’s Institute for Innovation, Design and Sustainability Research (IDEAS) called CARE-North.

“CARE-North is a research project for the North Sea Area, which concentrates on developing and implementing innovative carbon reduction strategies for urban and regional transport to maintain and improve accessibility in a more carbon-responsible way.

“These are vital stepping stones towards achieving EU 20-20-20 energy targets.

“Partners involved include Aberdeen City Council, West Yorkshire Integrated Transport Authority (METRO), the municipalities of Bremen, Malmö and Gothenberg, the province of Fryslân and the Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI).

“RGU is the project’s sole academic partner in CARE-North.”

Professor Richard Laing comments: “There are many problems associated with rolling out strategies concerned with CO² reduction and renewable energy in terms of sustainable transport, particularly when we consider public and stakeholder buy-in within societies which are historically reliant on fossil fuels.

“We welcome the opportunity to present at this conference, which coincides with the world’s foremost event for the development of offshore drilling, production, exploration and environmental protection, OTC.

“Our collaborative research and discussion with other universities including Stavanger, Houston and Perth will enable us to explore and engage in debate with delegates to find out how we can transfer ideals and put them into practice in a challenging political environment, including here in Aberdeen.

“By developing a research based network within the 19 ‘energy’ cities, we are moving closer to addressing strategic issues from different settings, angles and perspectives, and working towards putting together a best practice strategy for future direction.”

Professor Gunnar Nerheim and Professor Oluf Langhelle from the University of Stavanger, and Professor Joseph A. Pratt from the University of Houston will also present at the conference.

  • For more information on the World Energy Cities Partnership (WECAP) visit
  • To find out more about CARE-North visit or contact Prof. Richard Laing ( or Prof. David Gray (

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Contact: Lynsey Shepherd
Phone: 01224 217345